So exactly who is at fault here?

Frustration at repeated sexual predator warnings

Police say they are frustrated at having to repeatedly warn teens and parents about sexual predators after the identity of a man who faces a raft of charges for sexually exploiting children has been revealed.

Guess who is at fault for police having to issue repeated warnings?

Is it the sexual predators, who seek out children and teenagers to abuse?


Is it the police, who are unable to get sexual predators to stop?


Is it the teenagers and children that sexual predators target?

Yes! Of course it is! It’s the victims’ fault.

After Laurence’s appearance, the leader of [the Wellington-based Online Child Exploitation Across New Zealand Unit], Detective Senior Sergeant John Michael, said police were frustrated at having to repeatedly warn teenagers and parents about sexual predators who trawled the internet looking for their next victim.

“The warning is valid but people continue to ignore it. What does it take to get the message through? [Some teenagers] think they’re 10-foot tall and bulletproof until something bad happens.”

As well as indulging in victim blaming, Sergeant Michael has forgotten some of the basic facts of life. Teenagers grow up. They cease being teenagers. But they are replaced by an entirely new set of teenagers who will not have heard Sergeant Michael’s warnings. He will need to issue those warnings again and again and again, because each year, there are new teenagers.

I’d be really worried if Sergeant Michael’s approach was applied in other areas of policing. Imagine teaching road safety. “Right then, that’s these five year olds taught how to use pedestrian crossings. Good. We won’t need to do that again. From now on, all five year olds will know how to cross the road.”

It’s part of the job, repeating the same message over and over and over again. And if the police really want sexual predation to stop, they need to address the whole huge issue of rape and consent in our culture. But as ever, it’s much easier to just blame the victims.


One comment on “So exactly who is at fault here?

  1. Mindy says:

    The FAIL is strong in this one. Sergeant Michael – do all new police recruits undergo training, or since you trained some earlier do you just assume the new ones know what they are doing? Yes teenagers do think they are 10 foot tall, also 8 and 5 year olds in my experience and the role of parents and police is to help kids a) understand that they are not and b) try our best to ensure that kids are okay regardless. Police should do this by catching the bastards who are unsafe to be around our kids rather than whinging that kids are doing things that could attract attention to themselves.

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